I just joined the website and have a question about installing a new lantern, that I have not yet purchased, on a covered balcony. Would you please answer my questions?

  1. When I removed the existing lantern, I did not tap the electrical box but it looks metal, not plastic, in the photo below correct?
  2. In the instruction manual for the new lantern (see link below), I do not see a grounding wire but it should come with it, given step #2, correct?
  3. Assuming a metal box, does the setup for the existing lantern in the photo below look like what was described in another post: black (hot), white (neutral) and copper (ground) connected with marettes? And neither copper (ground) wire needs to connected to the green screw?

Thank you for your help.


enter image description here

  • The bare ground should be connected to the green screw. If the lighting fixture is metal, then it probably uses metal to metal(screws) contact for ground path. For light fixtures, ground is nice, but limited use. You do not touch the metal that much, if ever without the breaker being off.
    – crip659
    Commented May 17 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


"...And neither copper (ground) wire needs to connected to the green screw?"

NO. If the ground wire in the box, (it is metal) is attached to a ground screw in the box you are ok. Attaching the ground from the fixture to the ground wire will make all parts grounded. However if the ground wire is not attached to the box and you do not attach a ground wire to the green screw on the mounting bar then the box is only grounded by happenstance.

In that instance, if you should have the fixture off and the box gets energized in any way your touching it would shock you.

For safety attach the ground wire to the green screw and then attach the ground from the fixture to the wire. A better way would be to attach the ground to the box by the appropriate grounding screw. Then anything metal that you attach to the box will be grounded.


The box is metal. The simplest safe way to connect the ground:

  1. Attach the ground wire from the power feed cable to a ground screw in the box. This will ground the box.
  2. Attach the green ground wire from the fixture to a second ground screw in the box. This will ground the lantern by connecting it to the grounded box.

The manual is misleading, in that the illustration omits ground wires. It does say to ground in accord with local codes, but that's obviously not very helpful. The method above will meet virtually any electrical code.

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